No pipe and slippers.

Sitting on his worn down perch at the bottom of his vegetable garden he supped his long cool beer. The view of the nearby mountain continued to fascinate him though he had lived under its shadow most of his lifetime.

Vanish his trusty Border Collie lay at his feet, both content in each others company.

The dog as was his want went missing for a couple of days every so often, he is gone about a little business his master would tell Marmalade his sooty black tabby.

From his seated position, his beloved garden had a lasagne look about it, fashioned in three layers.

He kept the local market supplied all year round with the freshest fruits and vegetable.

Every morning six days he would stock up and be market side by 6:00am.

He never classed himself as overly religious yet always followed the edict – on the Sabbath day you rested.

Vanish was away on his mission this particular Sunday when trouble raised its ugly head.

The remoteness of where he lived held no fear for him, so when he had afternoon callers which he did have on occasion enquiring if they could purchase some of his fresh produce he would promptly show them in.

Vanish returned later in the evening, blessed he couldn’t comprehend what had gone on in his absence.

Sniffing around his dishevelled master, finding no sign of life he lay himself down by his side.

Monday morning arrived, the masters favourite companion rose and made the long journey alone to the market.

Those who first encountered Vanish were shocked at his condition. His always immaculate coat matted with the blood of his master.

(c) Chris Black. November 2017.

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